JD Sports Fashion has acquired Northwest indie mini-chain Originals Clothing out of administration for an undisclosed sum.
A source said the sportswear giant had “bought the business and certain assets of RetailChic”, which trades as Originals Clothing, after it went into administration more than two weeks ago. JD Sports confirmed the acquisition but declined to comment further.
The seven-store premium menswear chain, which is headed by John Devenney, was founded 25 years ago and has six stores in locations such as Blackburn and Preston. It stocks brands including Lacoste and Paul Smith.
A source said: “All the existing jobs have been secured, and the business will continue to trade going forward while benefiting from the operational and financial resource that JD can offer. Dialogue is being held with the main brands to ensure there is no disruption in product supply.”
The acquisition is the latest in a line of deals for JD Sports, which recently bought outdoor retailer Blacks Leisure. It has also set up a joint venture with agency Fourmarketing, owner of indie Oki-ni, to create a menswear retail concept.
The sales director of one young fashion brand stocked in Originals Clothing described the move as a double-edged sword. He said: “On one hand it guarantees that they’ve got good payment.” The downside, he said, would be two major companies [JD Sports Fashion and Sports Direct] “buying out all the independents” .
Originals Clothing was unavailable for comment.